disclaimer or something

A mummy-hand holding, (former) biker gang affiliating, hippie influenced semi crunchy granola mom's ramblings and reminisings on an off-kilter life

Friday, January 30, 2015

there are no coincidences...and...fyi I am not a creepy stalker.

My half brother whom I have never met (we are FB friends) is expecting a baby! Well his girlfriend is but same difference right? So I had to google her name, make sure she is a good person for my brother and neice/nephew. All I could find was an address. But holy moly omfg can it be? THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES. She lives or lived....wait let me back up. In the early 90's my brother and his aunt, uncle, cousins on my side whom he hasnt a clue about lived a half mile away from him. They probably saw one another often and never knew. So fast forward to now. His girlfriend lived or lives in the SAME HOUSE as his & my aunt, uncle, cousins lived in. THE SAME EXACT HOUSE. I am floored.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fear and Loathing in las escuelas

The scent of multipurpose cleaner and soggy canned corn wafted through the halls, riding the chilly draft from the locked metal doors. Tiny windows, security protocols, screams echoing down empty halls made me feel like a prisoner; tiny paper snowflakes bedazzled in glitter meant I was instead inside an elementary school.

I felt deja vu upon deja vu, a multilayered memory carried by that corn and cleaner stench, that filled me with fear and self-loathing. An elementary school should not cause such anxiety; perhaps the fact that my four-year-old was locked away in a small florescent-lit room with a district psychologist and some number two pencils added to my anxiety.

I was flooded with memories of my dozen-plus experiences teaching in a handful of schools. I somehow always fell prey to the hoardes of students, my classroom went wild and my career was at stake. I rarely stayed at a school site for more than a year, a prominent mentor and role model in the lives of thirty to two hundred students one day, gone the next. Every day when I walked in the school doors, that corn and cleaner stench mocked me as I told myself, today would be a better day. I would take control of my class. And every day, that corn and cleaner scent clung to my heels as I locked the classroom door, full of self loathing at my failure as a teacher. But I kept coming back; a love of learning and teaching and helping others, a strange instinctual need to help children find wonder drove me back each time. Every year, a different school, with the same self loathing and fear.

So as I paced the halls, waiting for my son to finish an evaluation, I did my best to keep my chin up, while having an epiphany. Somehow, my emotions take me hostage and I feel like a prisoner in the school system. I feel bullied, alone, a failure. Exactly what I hope my son never ever experiences. 

I pray that when he opens the school doors, the scent of corn and cleaner whispers to him, "explore....wonder...succeed...smile....". And that he whispers back, "I will."

Friday, January 2, 2015

rotten fish and hairy legs

Please tell me you have had vacations like this! Yeah, I should have known the trip was doomed when my few friends all canceled; I decided to make the best of it and stick to something for once and what a mistake.

Eighth grade is a time of hormonal roller coaster drama, and being a dorky, shy, flaf
t-chested prepubescent nerd did not make it any easier. In fact, I truly forget most of middle school, a huge blamk in my life for (probably) good reason. Thank god social media did not exist back then. But anyways, I was set to go on an epic school field trip and it sounded pretty damned cool, minus the lack of friends. Camping...for a week! What tomboy wouldn't love that? Panning for gold? Visiting historical sites? Omg a nerd dream!

So when I got assigned to my car in the caravan with three prissy rich girls totally out of my social circle and destined to loathe me, I sucked it up. I, being the wishy-washy type to get walked all over, gladly accepted the middle seat with a hump where my legs would go. Sure, riding for 8 hours straight on a rock hard seat with my knees on my cheeks? Sign me up!

It got worse. My prissy companions didnt have room for my luggage, so it went on the teacher's bus with all the camping gear. And...and...and...the girls in the car wanted to listen to the same mix tape all the way there. Not some two-sided 90 minute thing, nuh uh, it had two songs. Two. "Lady in Red" and some Celine Dion song I luckily erased from memory. Oh. And they sang along. God help me.

So we get to the campsite and I misleadingly get all excited, yay nature!

And my camp mom/chauffeur decided camp food is not good enough for her little snowflake and friends. Since I am the black sheep third wheel, she decides "when in Rome.." and since I am not allowed to leave the supervision of my camp mom, I, too, get special meals. Except, she doesnt foot the bill. My $50 of spending cash gets a good run at Carl's Jr a few miles away.

We went to some cave where some kids went spelunking (my funds limited due to a need to eat, I passed up spelunking). One of the prissy girls was $20 short of some spelunking, tshirt, souvenir for her dying grandpa combo and being the softy I am, I forked over $20 for her pleasure, and thus nearly starved off two sandwishes, hold the fries and drink per day because all the fun activity shit has emtrance fees.

On a rathed hot day, everyone stripped down to their bathing suits to swim in the nearby lake. Unable to do more than doggy paddle, I skipped that embarassment (omg look she swims like a dog woof woof she looks like a dog too huh huh huh), I shyly dipped my toes in the water only to look down in horror. Not only was there a rotten maggot infested dead fish inches from my foot, but my legs weren't shaved and I forgot my razor. I was like Sasquatch if he were 80 lbs and as white-pale as an albino. Oh the horror. And i thought, omg everyone will totally notice and I shit you not, they did notice! A gaggle of mocking teens and nowhere to run and hide.

But I kind of redeemed myself. I hated my math teacher who made me bawl my eyws out with her cruel ways back when she was my 4th grade teacher. I picked up a different, maggot-free but damned stench bloated fish and placed it in my math teacher's rv. Yes. It was glorious. Except it wasn't. My English teacher caught me and while I could tell he too wanted to put stinky fish in her rv, it is not exactly what teachers do or let their students do so we settled on putting it near the rv.

And then one night, it rained. And rained some more. Like Biblical level rain, where the tents literally began to wash away in the deluge. We all frantically  packed in the dark and wet and headed to the mountains, hoping to find a cabin in the now-blizzard. We found one cabin, and I recall us packing like sardines into beds and ontp the floor in illegal masses just to find shelter.

We left for home the next morning, and I could not wait to get home. Exceptmmy camp mom and her prissies felt they knew a shortcut through the desert to get home, but it ended up a long-cut. I frantically attempted a phone call from the (now archaic) corded brick "car phone", my psycho dad would have to wait at the school a few extra hours till I arrived.

I thought we took some clever shortcut to the school when we pulled into the camp mom' s driveway, miles from school. Everyone casually unloaded and strolledinsode and I sat in their kitchen, doe-eyed. I was supposed to be at school, meeting my already panicked crazy dad. I could not exactly call him since we weren't wealthy and thus lacked a snazy brick phone. I couldn't call the school, it was up on a Sunday. The prissies did not "get" that my dad was probably attracting the attention of the police by now in his panic. They took their sweet ass time as I pleaded to be returned to school. "Just call him...he does not have a car phone? He did not know to pick you up here? Cant you just sleep on our couch and you can ride the bus to school in the morning?" I finally reminded them my suitcase was on the school bus and I needed clean underwear, so they drove me to school.

I got there and the huge school parking lot contained...my dad and his truck. Nothing else, as in, my suitcase and the school bus were missing. I would have to wait till school opened in the morning to get most of my clothes and all my schoolbooks.

The next morning, I had to get in trouble for not having my schoolbooks and fpr barely being able to see the board (since my contacts were in my suitcase). I got a message 6th period that my mom was going to pick me up instead of riding the bus. My English teacher suggested I wait in his room. My mom came in to find me and... my teacher mumbled something to her. They disappeared, came back, and presentd me with a hunk of something slimy and black.

My suitcase.

Bent in half and covered in lotion and contact fluid.

The bus had left my suitcase in some dark recess of the parking lot, only to be found by a schoolbus in the morning, and ran over.  My schoolbooks were damaged beypnd repair, my clothes torn and all lotion-y with road grime smooshed in.

It was the worst field trip/vacation ever.